x&t A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
was the sacred flower of Egypt, as of other ancient lands, and in the opened form beautifully symbolized the awakened spirit of man. The King thus perpetuated in this carving his devoted care for* the growth and development of his spiritual nature. This king wore a triangular girdled apron covering the sexual organs, a garment which had precisely the same symbolism that the Freemasons' apron possesses to-day. Thus the aproned figure of the Pharaoh, going through a ritual in the temple before his divine Master, has its modern counterpart in the twentieth-century Freemason going through a ritual in the Lodge before his Worshipful Master. Abydos, as the first seat of the Osirian religion, was also the first Grand Lodge of the inner secret rites of that religion; that is of the "Mysteries/' progenitors of eady Freemasonry.
I threaded my way between bulging pillars, and listened to the sparrows twittering incessantly in the old roofs. I left the temple and, turning west, passed through a doorway into a sloping subterranean passage, whose walls were covered with texts and figures taken from Egypt's chief scripture: The Book of the Dead. This led into some excavated rooms, supposed by archaeologists to have been erected as Setfs cenotaph.
The whole structure, most archaic in appearance, was dug out of more than forty feet of debris. The central room was saddle-roofed and shaped like a colossal sarcophagus. The roof was delicately sculptured with carvings showing Shu, god of the air, lifting a dead Pharaoh from the earth and protecting him with his arms. I felt at once that some hidden symbolism lay in this picture. The whole building was most remarkable. It was built of huge stones. A water-filled moat entirely surrounded the crypt and isolated the central nave. That this moat is connected with the Nile by some secret underground canal, is more than probable. Herodotus has described a very similar place said to have existed underneath the Great Pyramid, but no one has yet been able to verify what he was told by the priests. This mysterious crypt at Abydos, practically unique among excavated underground chambers, may indeed have been reconstructed by Seti to serve as his cenotaph; but I had a definite feeling that it had originally served some higher purpose. What was that purpose? I dismissed the question tor the time being.
^1 returned to sit on an old flagstone in the shade of the pillared court. Here at Abydos, said the old traditions, the man-